Get Down the Words and Expose the Context

Young Miss M enjoyed “The Get Down,” Netflix series about the origins of hip hop, so she introduced me to the show.  It’s a love story, mixed with politics, religion, crime, drugs, music,  complications, family conflicts, hero worship, role models, and dreams.

I’ll let you decide for yourselves if you like it.  I actually liked the story line of the show except for observing one tiny little thing.  By doing it, the writer played everyone for chumps, unless they noticed it.

This show was about the origins of hip hop and disco musical styles starting back in the 70s.  It only had six episodes, set in New York, and Netflix is rumoring they’re going to cancel it.  Or they’re cancelling it, depends on who you read it from.

The show has a brilliant cast including Daveed Diggs, the world’s fastest rapper, from Alexander Hamilton fame whose voice was apparently dubbed in for no reason I can figure out, Will Smith’s kid, and a great soundtrack.  There’s a climactic performance by a girl in a church and a guy confronting another guy for stealing music, and the score blends the two events perfectly.   You can see it unless Youtube removes it, here:

I’m honestly surprised they’re pulling the plug on the show.  Or maybe they’re just thinking Netflix was a good starter medium, but not suitable for long-term profitability for the continuation.

Everything on the whole show was great.  She sang the stuff that sounded like a devotional on John 8:38.  And then she sang something else.  You can defend the lyrics as technically biblical, inasmuch as they are a direct quotation of Isaiah 14.  But I found that quote disturbing, and I was surprised the character of the pastor wasn’t shouting over the lyrics for his daughter to stop singing.  Here’s why:

Isaiah 14:14-  “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

Sounds great, right?  Not so much.  The quote of Isaiah revealed the pride of Satan himself. And the following verse, in that prophetic weird way of telling something that has happened, is happening, and will happen, until the final event, spoke of his downfall.  In selecting the verse, the writer either revealed something about the character of the singer, or the writer reveals something about the foolishness, or the ignorance, of his general audience, and it’s played out like an inside joke.

We’re the fools if we listen to things like this and just think, “oh, that’s nice, look at the pretty girl singing in her daddy’s church.”  If you want to know if something is truth, you have to take it apart, analyze carefully, hold it up against a standard of truth, and see if it matches or not.

I can’t “make myself like the Most High.”

I can’t make myself like the Most High, but Satan has been telling everyone that lie since the very beginning.  Consider Genesis 3, especially verse 5.  It’s the exact same lie, and there it is mixed in with a little bit of faith or truth in the song.  In Genesis Satan allowed Eve to mix in her little extra additions to the truth, and then caused her to doubt.  In life he does the same  thing to us, and look at the mess.  Prideful people who think they’re righteous and God is on their side, who are no different, and no better, than the Pharisees of Jesus’ earthly days.  They have no real love for people when push comes to shove.  They’re out for themselves.

And, truth?   They’ll sell you a lie for a buck, and send you on your way to eternity, separated from God and you’re still blind to it, thinking you’re going to be just fine.  There is a standard of truth, and Christ followers are supposed to speak that in love.  You can’t have one or the other and be all right. You have to have both.  Without the truth, all you think is that you’re well loved and you’re fine.  We love those pastors but if I’m fine and God loves me but doesn’t need me to work at getting better, why would Jesus say I needed to “repent” or “follow?”  Without the truth, why do we need their message?  Without the love, you think there’s no hope because all you hear about is how your sins condemn you.  We hate those churches because they hated us first, and they think they’re righteous, just like the pastor on “The Get Down” actually hated his brother (see the other , good and true verse from the song, here.) .

People love to quote John 3:16, and that’s all well and good.  But just like the verse from the song, there’s an important context.  Here, Jesus speaks:

11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

We do what we do.  It’s not like God doesn’t know about it.  Old habits die hard, and some old habits feel good.  They may even feel right.  It doesn’t make them right.  It’s because we all sin and because we can’t make ourselves like the Most High that we need faith in the One who can make us better than we can make ourselves.

2 Corinthians 5:
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Be careful when you choose what to believe is acceptable, and be careful when you choose what you think is truth.  If your truth is mixed up with lies, you’re like the sad rodent whose grain and sugar are mixed with strychnine.  Be careful who you trust.  Or you may get played for a chump.  I told my daughter where the verse came from and she’s pondering what it means.  And now I’ve told you, and I hope you’ll give it some thought too.

One thought on “Get Down the Words and Expose the Context

  1. I still think you would be a great preacher. There aren’t many that preach love, truth and light from the pulpit today. I live in the same town where Joel Olsteen preaches to thousands and he might as well be a motivational speaker. There is no truth spoken, but he tells everyone if you believe that you will be blessed beyond measure. Meaning great job, money big house etc. I have seen him on TV and it is awful to see how many buy into his feel good vibes instead of the true word of God. So I’m not surprised they would misrepresent scripture on a show. Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now!

    Liked by 1 person

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